The first spacecraft NASA has designed to fly astronauts beyond Earth orbit since the Apollo era is well on its way to making a flight test next year. The mission is planned for launch in September 2014, and will see an Orion capsule orbit Earth without a crew and return through the atmosphere at speeds unseen since astronauts last returned from the moon in 1972.
To read more about this exciting development, visit https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/mpcv/Triprogrambriefing.html.
As Orion continues preparation to take astronauts further into space, take a look back at the recently ended shuttle program and have your students track the linear regression of a space shuttle launch. Check out the launch video of Shuttle mission STS-121 then have them create a scatter plot from real launch data. Linear Regression: Exploring Space Through Math—Space Shuttle Ascent is a NASA Explorer Schools featured lesson and is available in the NES Virtual Campus Lesson Library.